Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Will Boris abandon Project Cameron at City Hall?

Boris Johnson will not replace the disgraced Deputy Mayor for young people Ray Lewis, it was announced today, as further signs emerged that Team Cameron are losing their grip on City Hall.

Asked by Dave Hill at today's monthly press conference about his plans to relaunch his youth strategy, Boris said that a new strategy would be released in November. 

However, on the question of who would head the strategy he conceded that:

"We are not going to be replacing the former Deputy Mayor for Youth in quite the same way but we will be having a panel of ambassadors."

Boris gave no hint as to who will be included on the panel, but there were at least some signs today that common sense may be returning to City Hall.

Boris Mark II?

Asked when Policy Exchange chief and neo-con hawk Anthony Browne would be starting work, Boris replied vaguely that he would be beginning 'soonish' and quickly moved on.

But after a pause he quickly remembered his other new employee and gave an enthusiastic welcome to his new environmental advisor and former Ken appointee Isabel Dedring.

He said that Dedring was 'extremely gifted' and applauded her work at driving through Ken's plans for hybrid buses against all bureaucratic obstacles.

These were of course the same hybrid buses that Boris was so scornful of during the campaign and Dedring was part of the same organisation singled out for culling by Wheatcroft, Parker and co.

So what exactly has changed over the summer, and how has Boris gone from being the champion of the Right, to being a union appeasing, think tank baiting, consensus achieving modern politician?

New Term

Well first of all it is important not to get carried away. There are still many battles ahead and with the arrival of Anthony Browne, things could turn very sour indeed.

But since the departure of Tim Parker over the summer, there has been a definite momentum towards common sense at City Hall.

And with the almost complete and abject failure of the Cameron-led project to install his team at Boris's shoulder, it has been the Milton and the borough boys who have moved in to claim the throne.

And with the return of local government to local government leaders, there should hopefully be some return to the realities of day-to-day administration, which are so alien to the ideologues at CCHQ.


Will said...

The worry is that all we will see is 'day to day administration' and that we won't see the kind of radical solutions that London sees. It will just be four years of drift is the argument.

bobbin said...

I have to say it's not much of a choice. what would you rather - the Policy Exchange mob or the Shirley Porter gang? Would you like a portion of shit, or a large shit shake?

The Troll said...

Thanks for that image Bobbin.

angelneptunestar said...

Do you honestly think that someone as creative and original and proactive as boris Johnson will just drift? I don't.

Helen said...

"...creative and original and proactive" - show your working, please.

angelneptunestar said...

"Creative" - read his books and newspaper articles, and watch his hilarious improvised humour on t.v. - always unrehearsed, whereas other performers rehearse and prepare for hours. You can't produce those fantastically funny impromptu remarks unless you are brilliantly creative. and you don't command the sort of money he earns for his writings unless you are absolutely at the top of your game.

"Proactive" - he was the peoples' choice for Mayor when everyone else said "Don't run. Definitely Don't run. and Ken is unbeatable". He took on unbeatable Ken and beat him and it was a huge change for Boris to take on the job. I would say, without fear of contradiction, that not only is Boris Johnson the most popular Tory politician in country. He is the most POPULAR POLITICIAN in the country. You don't get to that position by letting things drift.

"Original". There is only one Boris Johnson

Tom said...

I'm not convinced, angela? Helen, any thoughts?

Sir Simon Milton is at the root of this, not Boris, by the way. He does appear to have the drive, if not the face and the popularity of Boris.

angelneptunestar said...

Tom, let's see how he does over the couple of years. There is a long time to go, and to be fair, it is such a huge job, you must need a lot of time to totally get to grips with it.

Ken was lucky. He didn't have you intrepid guys breathing down his neck, reporting every mistake he made. Ken himself has been honest enough to admit on t.v., you are bound to make mistakes. He said he made mistakes, but they were just different type of mistakes to Boris's mistakes.

The Troll said...

'Ken was lucky. He didn't have you intrepid guys breathing down his neck, reporting every mistake he made.'

I'm guessing that Boris doesn't lose too much sleep at night wondering what a few bloggers are going to say about him in the morning.

Although it would explain why he looked such a state at today's press conference.

angelneptunestar said...

What sort of state? Tired or a sartorial state?

The Troll said...

Both. His hair has reverted to it's pre-election condition. Further sign of Team Cameron losing their grip on him perhaps ;)

angelneptunestar said...

In THE WEST WING, do you remember the episode called "Let Bartlett be Barlett?" when President Bartlett finally decided to be himself, and not try to please everyone else? Maybe Johnson has decided to be Johnson.

Tom said...

'Ken was lucky. He didn't have you intrepid guys breathing down his neck, reporting every mistake he made.'

Yes, I'm sure he relished the lack of public scrutiny he received. Particularly from the Evening Standard, I remember. They hardly ever talked about him.

Karl said...

From reading the Evening Standard you'd swear Boris was still fighting Ken in the election. Still, 'Let Johnson be a Johnson' sounds like a good blog post title.

I'm relishing the gnashing of teeth from the Boris mob when they realise he isn't going to repeal the CONgestion charge - as I believe its popularly known amongst the hoi polloi. I took great care in filling out my form for the Western Extension consultation, they'll be happy to know.

hannah said...

Yes,Tom - I was also wondering as to which planet Angelneptunestar was living on

Tom said...

Er, it's Neptune isn't it?

angelneptunestar said...

I am happy to let you laugh at me, I can take a joke. The proof of the pudding is in the eating and you should all be so lucky as to live on planet Neptune, great place.

When Boris's record speaks for itself, I won't rub it in.